SIDNEY — The Sidney Fraternal Order of Eagles recently made a contribution of $5,000 to the Shelby County Special Olympics program. As a personal thank you for the donation, Special Olympics athlete Mikayla Ryder attended the Eagles’ Dec. 1 meeting and shared her experience with members.
Ryder brought two track & field medals and wore her Special Olympics T-shirt to the meeting. She answered questions from Eagles members and said her favorite conversation was about the new softball diamond and dugouts. The program was able to add these features with a recent change in leadership. As of March 2022, the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD) took control as local coordinator for the Shelby County Special Olympics program.
Ryder also shared how important the Special Olympics T-shirts are to all participating athletes. Athletes receive new shirts each year, because the shirts are worn like a badge of honor. Most see a plain T-shirt with a special Olympics logo. The athletes wear the shirts with pride and keep them forever.
Attending the meeting alongside Mikayla was Jessica Guillozet, SCBDD Community Connections Facilitator/Special Olympics coordinator. Guillozet provided Eagles members with informational material on the Shelby County Special Olympics program and answered questions about operations behind the scenes. She has been the main contact for Shelby County Special Olympics since the county board became local coordinator.
While Guillozet has her own ideas for use of the Eagles’ donation, Ryder said she hopes the money will be used to add more sports, like weightlifting and volleyball.